Why things will get worse before they get better

Thursday, September 07, 2006
Two items. First, a poll of our cousins to the north reveals that they believe we Americans are responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Blame the victims and all that. How dare those b**ds go to work that day in the World Trade Center?
A majority of Canadians believe U.S. foreign policy was one of the root causes that led to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and Quebecers are quicker to criticize the U.S. administration for its international actions than other Canadians, a recent poll suggests.


Second, our cousins across the pond are also reaching the conclusion that the best way to avoid terrorist attacks is...distance themselves from the United States.
MOST people believe that the Blair Government’s foreign policy has increased significantly the risk of terrorist attacks and now want Britain to distance itself from America and set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, according to a poll for The Times.

Iranian nukes, Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons? Never heard of 'em. It's those damn yanks.

Well, polls are nonsense and all that, but I have no doubt we're losing the battle for hearts and minds and we're losing it big-time. That's because we're the safe devil. The prospect of a nuclear-armed Mullah with a Seventh-Century mentality is really too much to bear. Don't think about it. Attack that darned Bush, those darned Republicans, those darned Americans! Nobody will lock you up for that and maybe you'll escape the next terrorist attack after all.

41 comments:

David Thomson said...

Was that poll regarding the views of Canadians? You could have sure fooled me. I thought it dealt with American members of the Democratic Party. We live in a dangerous era. Only a modest size number of individuals clearly understand the danger. Increasingly, or least it seems that way, more are embracing the distorted concept that violence against the Islamic nihilists will simply worsen the situation. Best to rely on "dialogue and understanding."

Skookumchuk said...

MHA:

I have no doubt we're losing the battle for hearts and minds and we're losing it big-time. That's because we're the safe devil.

When we saw the towers fall on TV, I knew in my gut that we Americans would be in this one alone. Oh, there would be cooperation, a few soldiers of other countries here and there, possibly some very good, "punching above their weight" as they used to say, but the true fight would be ours alone.

"Will they win?" I asked my wife as we stared at the TV. "They believe in God" was her reply.

The Euros believe in nothing, being content to eke out the last of the welfare payments before their coffers are bare. Nihilistic and envious. So, if the mullahs exterminate some of us - well, the Yanks had it coming. Right after that exchange with my wife, I thought of the Civil War, where the Europeans, seeing already what we would someday become, sought to rip us apart before we could develop. Read the London Times of the early 1860's. Lincoln as a jug-eared ape. Unlettered Union generals in sloppy uniforms who were terrorizing educated, cultured southerners.

I'm reading a book about the cruise of the Confederate commerce raider Shenandoah, a warship launched as a thinly diguised merchantman, that destroyed the Yankee whaling fleet in the Bering Sea. She was built near Liverpool, where Confederate flags were flown in the streets for most of the war.

Keeping Europe out of our Civil War was one of Lincoln's greatest and most unheralded achievements. The strategy as he called it was "one war at a time." He didn't need the love of the world. He just wanted to win.

As the strongest, as the most optimistic, we are envied, and there are millions who, while not exactly wanting the Taliban to rule their lives, dismiss the possibility as a very distant prospect - after they are dead and gone.

Much more immediate is the excitement and the irrepressible, hateful joy at the thought of America being humbled by the next attack - the next bomb, the next hijacked airplane, or perhaps something novel - a suicide nuke against a carrier in the Gulf or ebola in the Chicago subway. And then when the attack happens - "Well, they had it coming."

I think we all know that the burden is ours alone, that we will fight this for the remainder of the century largely alone, in fits and starts, sometimes with greater or lesser enthusiasm, with internal rancor, without a detailed plan, making it up as we go along, just as a democracy always does.

Alone. And yet we must somehow win. Win in the very least in preserving the American experiment as our European cousins become Islamified out of existence. At most, in spreading democracy and economic opportunity where it makes sense to do so. As for Europe, the eventual disappearance of our common cultural ties will change us in ways we can't even begin to define.

But we mustn't forget that America has always been the anti-Europe, from the very beginning. The Spanish government in Santa Fe, in what would become New Mexico, was terrified at Lewis and Clark and what emigration to the middle of the continent would represent. They sent a force of 200 dragoons to intercept them in Montana and missed them by three days. Yes, it was their claimed land. But when you read their letters to Spain, it is clear colonial officials knew what the future held, and they somehow already sensed it belonged to the farmers and tradesmen and mechanics who would fill that land, and not to a small group of colonial bureaucrats sitting at the edge of empire in command of nothing but a few Indian slaves. Fear of America from the very beginning.

So be it. It isn't as though we don't have practice in these situations, though it would help if we relearn those lessons, and quickly, too. Remember, we don't need to be loved by the world, and especially not by the intellectuals of the world. All their scorn must roll off like water off the back of a duck. As Lincoln said - "one war at a time."

David Thomson said...

I was unaware of Great Britain infatuation with the Confederacy during our Civil War. Was it due to envy and bitterness of the North’s affluence and increasing power in the world? We must not forget that the British were adamantly antislavery! What else but envy would explain their behavior?

I have another bone to pick with the British. Their intelligence services slandered the German government of Kaiser Wilhelm in order to get the United States into WWI. Millions of people lost their lives because of Great Britain’s lies.

terrye said...

david:

I had this argument re the Civil War with a European. Both Great Britain and France helped the Confderates. They ran the blockades to bring them supplies and the Brits threatened war against the US after the US boarded a British ship and captured a couple of spies.

The South had an aristocracy and cotten, both of which meant something to the Europeans. But it was more than that, it was the desire by the European powers at the time to see America humbled. They wanted to see the Republic fail. In truth the Russians were the least judgmental of the lot.

I have read those newspapers Skook talks about and they were indeed hoping to the United States get what she had coming to her. They looked down their noses at Lincoln and made fun of his speech, his mannerisms... everything.

Today the European left pats itself on the back, because after all they did not have slaves...well they did not need them, their Confederate friends had them.

The truth is the most supportive people in England were the poorest, the working people who had somehow what liberty and a lack of it was really all about.

As for MHA's contention, this is true to some extent. Especially when people are safely sitting at home talking to the polster on the phone.

It is not unlike the Centanni and Wiig ordeal, after which there were people ready and willing to pass judgment on those men for what they did and what they said etc. People like to think they are better than other people. Especially when the moral preening cost them nothing.

I also think it is the times we live in. That is what makes the hearts and minds so impossible to win.

For instance, what if the United States said that we are going to change policy and from this day forward we will not use our military in foreign places nor will we challenge any Islamist state and what is more Israel is on its own.

Fair enough.

So the genocide in Darfur goes on. Israel's enemies attack her and she fights for her survival without us. The North Koreans come over the DMZ. Iran invades Iraq and so on. When we sit back and do nothing in the midst of all that will these same people thank us?

No. Tony Blair said something once which is quite true. We expect America to deal with all the problems of the world and then complain about the way she does it.

terrye said...

BTW, when Great Britain threatened war against the United States, the invasion would have come from Canada. That is where the Brits were sending more troops.

The revenge of the Loyalists. Remember them? Just think at the time of the Civil War, the Revolution was less than a century in the past.

Skookumchuk said...

david:

Terrye is correct. The British built most of the Confederacy's seagoing warships, which were large, sophisticated vessels, as mechantmen in disguise. The depradations of one, the CSS Alabama, were so severe that the US pursued a claim for damages in British court and eventually got some payments.

Britain had a force of about 30,000 ready to march down the Hudson and take Washington, repeating the famous tactic of 1812. They were waiting for a definitive Confederate victory that never quite came.

Yes, all this despite the heroic efforts of the Royal Navy at stopping the slave trade in the early part of the 19th Century, one of the RNs proudest moments. And deservedly so. A task in which it was assisted, in so far as they were able, by the small US Navy and the Revenue Marine, the predecessor of the US Coast Guard.

The Confederacy thought that all those busy English textile mills simply could not do without Southern cotton, a mentality somewhat akin to that of your typical OPEC cartel member. But in 1864, the British began producing cotton in Madras, which helped kick the bucket out from under the Confederacy.

At the end of the war, the London Times was blubbering that Lincoln had indeed saved the Union, but only by trampling on the Constitution and by terrorizing the South - making the whole enterprise a sham. The editorials sound as if they could have been written yesterday.

Also, while British shipyards were busy cranking out the latest screw propelled steamers for the Confederates, France was busy installing Maximillian on the throne of Mexico, just to cause us a little worry down South.

The Confederates used old American and new British and to a lesser degree, French weapons.

Terrye is right again in that Russia was a friendly neutral. At Lincoln's invitation, the Russian fleet dropped anchor in New York harbor on a "goodwill cruise".

All of the above explains a certain reluctance among Americans to enter World War I, especially among people (and many were still living) who remembered all this from their youth. In European eyes, it was because we were unable and unwilling to come to their aid. Yes, but not for the reasons they thought.

But I was attempting to make an analogy with today. My point is that we have to do this essentially alone, with the rest of the world triangulating between us and our foes. It's only human nature, after all.

But frank acceptance of this reality - as we accepted it back then - presupposes a different America with different values and with a leading class that is not as intensely Europhilic as that of today. A somewhat harder and more cunning America. There are increasing signs that Britain wants to end the "special relationship". It will be a casualty of the war with the jihadists. Fine. Just be careful what you wish for.

truepeers said...

First of all, this is a poll commissioned by academics that allows respondents to choose from a list of "root causes", and everyone is taught nowadays that there are many causes needed to explain events - i.e. you are supposed to defer to "complexity" and the experts. So people choose many causes and then this somehow gives the pollsters the right to claim a majority of Candians blame US foreign policy. Well, don't a majority of people here think Clinton's foreign policy was a contributing factor to 9/11 if not a "root cause"?

Second, I think Skook is too pessimistic. Yes, a majority of people live under fantasy ideologies that seek to criminalize war, among other things. But this has been the reigning orthodoxy since 1945 if not 1918 and is not all about a refusal to face up to Islam. In fact, every day I see more and more people waking up to the reality of the Jihadist threat, and most of us knew *nothing* about Islam pre-9/11. Canadian and British papers are now frequently host to letters that are quite alive to the threat.

Still, it's true that fantasy ideologies rule because our culture - European, Canadian, and American - is Gnostic, in varying degrees. However, reality has a way of biting through fantasy when it must. I really don't think when push comes to shove that a majority of westerners will endlessly appease rather than fight. I could be wrong, I am not resting comfortably, but I have not lost hope. The idea that America is all alone, that it is the only true light in the world, is itself reminiscent of certain gnostic modes of thought.

There were many Confederate agents in British North American towns during the civil war, scheming in various ways. The people did not always accomodate them if a few stories in the back of my mind are any indication - but I'm willing to bet that Montreal was among the most friendly to the rebels (not unlike today!)

Coisty said...

Britian remained officially neutral during the War Between the States. There were commercial interests between various segments of the CSA and Britain but they weren't significant enough to lead to recognition of the CSA.

Russia was the most anti-CSA of the European states. Russia proclaimed itself to be anti-slavery at a time when most Russian peasants were living under worse conditions than black slaves.

David Thomson seems to believe the Northern invasion of the South was all about slavery. And Americans wonder why foreigners think they are ignorant!

But he's right about British war propaganda in WW1. The problem with basing your foreign policy on simple-minded humanitarianism is that you become a sucker.

As a youth in the British school system I was taught that the Kaiser wanted to take over the world - or maybe it was just Britain. It's laughable, of course, but no more so than claiming Lincoln's people were motivated by concern for southern blacks. Wars are about power but they are easier to sell to the morons who will fight them if you tell them they are about morality.

Skookumchuk said...

David:

The idea that America is all alone, that it is the only true light in the world, is itself reminiscent of certain gnostic modes of thought.

Perhaps. And yes, there are many who are at least at times sympathetic to us. But in effect, I stand by my earlier point that we are alone. Our efforts are undertaken by us because no other nation has the reach and the capability or the desire. It is us or no one at all.

Coisty:

It's laughable, of course, but no more so than claiming Lincoln's people were motivated by concern for southern blacks.

Lincoln never claimed that as his primary motivation for waging war, though he was anti-slavery from the beginning of his political career. He wanted above all to preserve the Union and was quite explicit in that throughout the conflict. The Emancipation Proclamation was in part a way to eliminate support for the Confederacy in Europe, by forcing those nations to make a choice.

truepeers said...

Wars are about power but they are easier to sell to the morons who will fight them if you tell them they are about morality.

-another example of gnostic thinking. Wars are about differences over the preferred order that should exist and rule parties in conflict. A desire for such and such an order is not simply a desire for power. Now it's true that some combattants always think it's just about power, but they fool themsleves if they dream of becoming supermen, replacing the gods.

A healthy desire for a healthy order entails a good dose of moral commitment. Anyone who thinks armies only march for loot and lust doesn't fully understand men and what unites them. Nor, for that matter, can "power" explain why complete strangers with nicknames spend so much time arguing over the internet.

Coisty said...

I'm willing to bet that Montreal was among the most friendly to the rebels (not unlike today!)


The Montreal of the 1860s had a much different ethnic composition then. Today it is full of Arabs - especially Algerians and Lebanese. They are the ones holding pro-Hezbollah demonstrations not real Canadians.

Although more Canadians fought for the North than South the people were more sympathetic to the CSA because they were afraid of a powerful US invading the territory that would later become Canada. Remember, it was a Fenian invasion from the US that made Canadians realise they needed to unite and become one nation-state.

terrye: Just think at the time of the Civil War, the Revolution was less than a century in the past.

And most of the descendants of the Virginia Founding Fathers fought for the Confederacy. Robert E Lee himself was married to the daughter of George Washington's adopted son. The so-called Civil War* overthrew the original Republic. The French, now on their Fifth Republic, are more honest than Americans.

* Southerners were not fighting for control of the US state. They were fighting to leave just like in 1776.

truepeers said...

Our efforts are undertaken by us because no other nation has the reach and the capability or the desire. It is us or no one at all.

-i think western Europe hasn't yet decayed so much that it couldn't field a significant military in fairly short order if they put theirs minds to it. And they can certainly change their immigration policies and tolerance for Jihadists if they wake up. Perhaps an Iranian nuke will make the difference.

The Montreal of the 1860s had a much different ethnic composition then. - indeed; i believe it was still a majority anglophone city, as it was for most of the 19thC. before industrialization.

There was no doubt fear of the northern army and fenians in the BNA colonies, but I think that cut both ways in terms of encouraging people to support the Confederates, or not, as did commercial interests.

Skookumchuk said...

Coisty:

The so-called Civil War* overthrew the original Republic.

Well, not quite. It survived and re-incorporated the Rebels into itself. The conflict changed the country, but it did not "overthrow" the Republic. No 1848s in America, not yet anyway.

Though you are correct in that many wealthy Southerners had prominent ancestors in the Revolution. This to them was Revolution Part II. But the roots of the conflict go far back - New England wanted to bolt soon after independence.

truepeers:

I don't know. Then there is the question of how long it takes. What is "fairly short order"? Any new Canadian aircraft carriers on the ways at Esquimalt? How long would that take - a decade and a half? Any latter-day Avro CF-105s on the drawing board? How long would that take? Either you are in it up to your neck or you aren't in the pool.

Coisty said...

truepeers: Wars are about differences over the preferred order that should exist and rule parties in conflict.

Germany didn't like the existing order - they wanted to have colonies like the British and French. The Germans wanted their moment in the sun. The Entente Cordiale feared the power of a united Germany. US interests in the existing order were minimal. An allied victory (hence US participation) was more important to JP Morgan's preferred order than America's.

On US foreign policy and 9/11:By a 45% to 32% margin, more Americans believe that the best way to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on the U.S. is to decrease, not increase, America’s military presence overseas. This is a stark reversal from the public’s position on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In the summer of 2002, before serious public discussion of removing Saddam Hussein from power had begun, nearly half (48%) said that the best way to reduce terrorism was to increase our military involvement overseas, while just 29% said less involvement would make us safer.

Pew Research Center

Coisty said...

Lastly, just because most Canadians believe US foreign policy was a factor in 9/11 doesn't mean they blame Americans or cheered on the terrorists. I believe US MidEast policies were part of the reason for the attacks but I (like most Canadians) suported the invasion of Afghanistan. But Serbs also had good reason to bomb the US and other NATO countries but they did not. During the 'Troubles' when Irish-Americans were raising funds for the IRA Ulster Protestants did not respond by planting bombs in Boston pubs. Nor do sub-saharan Africans impacted by French policies resort to terrorism in Paris. Just about every country on earth has policies that negatively impact people in other countries but it's primarily only Muslims who go ape-shit and start slaughtering people in those states instead of using other methods to bring about change. It's possible to believe US policies provoked the 9/11 attackers and that Muslim barbarism explains why they are so easily provoked. I'd be surprised if more than 5% of canadians believe the US got what it deserved on 9/11. Let's not exaggerate the anti-Americanism in Canadian society.

Luther McLeod said...

Coisty

"Wars are about power but they are easier to sell to the morons who will fight them if you tell them they are about morality."

Excuse my sensitivity, but hope you are not suffering from lack of oxygen sitting up there in your little intellectual tower. It is morons who gave you the freedom for your dalliance.

truepeers said...

I'd be surprised if more than 5% of canadians believe the US got what it deserved on 9/11. Let's not exaggerate the anti-Americanism in Canadian society.

-there's a larger percentage of people in all societies who don't know which way is up. I believe a recent poll suggested 37% of Americans believe 9/11 was a government conspiracy... which suggests both sane and insane Americans have little respect for OBL and his professions.

On the larger point, Coisty, I'm not saying the lust for power is not part of a proper explanation for war. But that lust is always contained within one vision of order or another. And it is the fact that humans rely on such visions that is of paramount importance. History is not a conspiracy, as the left like to believe, but rather a struggle for transcendence. Some seek transcendence and order through money, some through ideas, but for most people it is a combination of both.

truepeers said...

Either you are in it up to your neck or you aren't in the pool.

-an interesting idea; but if the water is cold some like to inch in slowly and some think it's easiest to dive right in. And you know, I still haven't figured out which method is better though I still tend to be an incher who has the motivation to eventually go all the way. Canada is now losing soldiers almost weekly in Afghanistan. Who's to say we will not get more used to fighting Jihadists than run away?

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

Who's to say we will not get more used to fighting Jihadists than run away?

An excellent point and one which should not be minimized. We need all the help we can get and having a Canada being used to the idea of fighting jihadis over many years is infinitely better than, to coin a phrase, doing a Spaniard and running away. Now, how you will nurture this sentiment - a return to an older Canada in some ways - in the face of an overwhelmingly PC culture is a tall order. I don't see how it can be done, but I would be happy to be proven wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

I'm not saying that the Canucks - like the Aussies - aren't good fighters. They are superb fighters by all accounts. It is the heavy lifting and the expense required to do it that concerns me. And that burden unfortunately is ours alone to bear.

truepeers said...

Now, how you will nurture this sentiment - a return to an older Canada in some ways - in the face of an overwhelmingly PC culture is a tall order. I don't see how it can be done

-well, it takes faith, faith and reason that the present-day PC culture is inherently a fantasy ideology out of touch with reality. If this is correct, then the "stronger" it will get, then the more disconnected from reality and in fact weaker it will also get, like the thousand year reich. I believe today's PC is an unstable station on a continuum between totalitarianism and nihilism. As long as we can maintain enough sense that there is something wrong with these two ends, the truth will come out.

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

...the truth will come out.

Yes, it will. But as a practical matter, in Canada, how would it happen? Where would you start?

terrye said...

Coisty:

There is something almost obscene about someone who sounds like Pat Buchanan calling a soldier a moron.

Really you are deliberately obnoxious and offensive. You go out of your way to insult people for no other reason than the enjoyment moral superiority seems to bring to you.

My father was in the US Navy, he was not a moron and you owe him and men and women like him an apology.

terrye said...

BTW, just because some people have no sense of morality and think that everything is about power does not mean they are right, it just means they are cynical and self serving. Cynical people tend to think everyone else is either as amoral as they are or they are stupid.

There are a lot of people who think that only idiots can believe in God. They believe that anyone who thinks there is anything greater than themselves is just a fool.

Well I believe in God and country. Sue me.

Skookumchuk said...

Terrye:

There are a lot of people who think that only idiots can believe in God.

Yes, and part of our duty is to prove them wrong.

truepeers said...

But as a practical matter, in Canada, how would it happen? Where would you start?

-A good place to start is by becoming a cultural warrior (for others to emulate) one who goes out to public meetings/lectures, who organizes demos, who confronts politicians, who blogs, who makes it his goal to belittle and desecrate what the reigning PC ideology holds dear. The PC say they stand for human rights - well then, when are they going to start getting upset about the condition of women and dhimmis under Islam, or the erosion of free speech at home? They say they are against violence - well then, how come they implicitly defend the growth of violent groups at home in the name of peace and tolerance? For example, this weekend, a group in Culver City, CA are burning an effigy of OBL outside a Wahabi Mosque and inviting the Muslim-Americans to join them in protesting terrorism. They know that we are at a point when we've got to force the issue, divide and conquer, and make people take sides. Then, once the conflict is better in view, so will be the transcendent truths that are at stake.

As Adam Katz says:
So, we are dealing with opposing religious faiths, or forms of the sacred [the sacred system of White Guilt vs. the forces of western traditions and modernity] —even if White Guilt might best be classified as a Western heresy. This offers us distinctive advantages in analyzing the phenomenon and fighting back. As anyone who has ever tried knows, arguing with a member of the “Angry Left” (the Church—or Mosque?—of White Guilt) is as fruitless as arguing with a jihadist must be. What is called for, in both cases, is not the outrage or disappointment that might be appropriate in dealing with members of one’s own faith, but sustained desecration, aimed first of all at all those elements of these faiths we are least able to live with, but ultimately extending to what emerge as key elements of the system of blackmail rendering the White Guilt/Islamist axis parasitical on the West.

I will leave aside the particulars of what such desecrations might look like, especially since much of this must be determined by the inventiveness of “cultural warriors” on the ground. (A quick look at a blog like Little Green Footballs will provide a lot of ideas, though.)...


On a more philosophical note, I would add to your question about practical action, that there are two kinds of truth: pragmatic or pratical truths, and the more fundamental kind that most people don't want to hear about if it threatens their pragmatic truths. In other words, if the fundamental goal of human society is to maintain a form of order against its erosion, then most people don't want to hear analyses of how their order works in the most fundamental terms because once someone knows how to show how something really works, it's a sign that the system has reached a point where it is no longer going to work, because all human systems are systems of exchange and exchange depends on uncertainty, not certainty, about the value of means and ends. Rather, people prefer to hear pragmatic truths - the reigning ideology - the consensus about what the market is thinking.

Once a system has been successfully deconstructed under the pressure of the resentment and criticism (or the greed and fear) it generates for being a human and hence less than perfect system, the end for it is near.

So, if we can now marshall the intellectual resources to show how our PC culture works, as a pratical matter a lot of people are not going to want to hear what we have to say - and indeed the evidence is all around us. But if we feel there is very little pragmatic value left in the PC order, that it is getting crazier and crazier in order to maintain itself (once it may have had a point, say in days of racial segregation and wife beating, but now it's getting really tired and hysterically puritanical), then we have to deny that it has any more pragmatic truth, and we deny it in the name of some fundamental truth about freedom - e.g. in the name of our need, at this moment in time, to engage conflicts and fight for a new and freer order so that we need not live in fear of those clinging to the pragmatism of what has become a nihilist, tyrannical or imperialistic order.

To do this, we have to find the opportunities to show people that the emperor has no clothes and that he is becoming scared and lashing out and that, while you're not one to rock the boat it's time to realize that you, and many others, could soon be big losers under a system in which people can no longer put their reason and faith that said system can maintain peace, order, and an acceptable degree of freedom and equality. It's like still being in the stock market as the bubble bursts and all of a sudden you find yourself with nothing in which to put your reason and faith.

Luther McLeod said...

Terrye

Thanks, I was beginning to think I was alone in seeing the smug sanctimony of that comment.

truepeers said...

No Luther, you weren't

Luther McLeod said...

I am sorry if I ruined the dialog, I just could not let that slide.

loner said...

For example, this weekend, a group in Culver City, CA are burning an effigy of OBL outside a Wahabi Mosque and inviting the Muslim-Americans to join them in protesting terrorism. They know that we are at a point when we've got to force the issue, divide and conquer, and make people take sides. Then, once the conflict is better in view, so will be the transcendent truths that are at stake.

I worked down the street for three years post-9/11. Nice people in my Friday experiences. Maybe I'll get a last, well probably not last, meal in a box at Tito's Tacos and then walk up. Scratch that. Mom's making tacos for lunch. Maybe we'll go to Junior's or the In-N-Out Burger further west on Washington Blvd. after swinging by to see if the mosque is or, more likely, the out-of-towners are under siege. I'm gonna miss L.A. So much to see and do and nobody cares if you're a little, or even very, late.

terrye said...

luther:

Hey I am glad you spoke up.

terrye said...

Coisty should also learn a little mroe history before he shoots his mouth off. The British may have been officially neutral but that did not mean that they did not find ways to supply the Confederates and it is very true that they threatened a nation in the midst of civil war with another war. Briish and French ships most certainly did run those blackades, that is a fact.

It is something how cynical a guy like coisty can be when it comes to moron Americans, but his own history is something else entirely. Then he believes whatever he is told.

Peter UK said...

"I was unaware of Great Britain infatuation with the Confederacy during our Civil War. Was it due to envy and bitterness of the North’s affluence and increasing power in the world? We must not forget that the British were adamantly antislavery! What else but envy would explain their behavior?"

Hardly,the Southern sates had closer ties to England,the vast cotton industry was interlinked,southern growers and the huge Lancashire cotton spinning and weaving industry.Liverpool,by the way is in Lancashire.

Peter UK said...

There is a most strange disconnect here,Terrye and others are speaking as if the South wasn't really America,that only the North was real America,sorry, it was simply the side that won in a bloody civil war.
Nation states act in their perceived interests,just as America does and always has done,to coin a phrase,"it isn't personal,it is business".
As a case in point ,look to "lease lend" and the deliberate financial bankrupting of Britain.

terrye said...

peter:

Well we had a civl war in which 600,000 people lost their lives, that really is a major disconnect. Add to that the fact that northern troops occupied the south until the late 1870's and the infamous Hayes compromise.

The British did have ties with the south, through commerce and culture and even some blood ties as well. And there was resentment of the United States government and the American people. Charles Dickens, one of my favortie authors, despised Americans.

I think it was the Trent Affair that brought about the possible declaration of war against the US by Britain. However, it seems that Europe looked upon us as two nations and were willing to help bring about the demise of one of them. After all what help there was, what support there was mostly went to the Confederates...except from the working people of Britain, including those in the mills with the most to lose. They supported the Union.

I do think however, that until after this war the US and Britain had some shakey relations...but it seems that once this was over the Brits began to finally see us as seperate and almost equal.

The South btw wrote its own Constitution, which was much like the one written a century before, except that it specifically protected slavery.

terrye said...

BYW, my grandmother's great grandfather died at the battle of Appomatax, the last battle of the Civil War. He was with the Alabama Volunteers. He left behind a wife and nine children, the oldest was 15.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
You are still viewing this from the winning side,it wasn't pre-ordained that the South lost,in the early days the South was winning.
The fact is, the Civil War was a a construct of politica; decisions which caused the South to secede,it was not initially about slavery.Secondly,it was an economic disaster for the South for a century afterwards.
Lastly,nation states act in their own self interest,they pick sides,periodically it goes wrong,like the shooting down of the U2 or many such other incidents.Nations arm beligerents like Saddam Hussein or the Afghan Mujehadeen,it comes back to bite them.

Skookumchuk said...

Peter UK:

...it wasn't pre-ordained that the South lost,in the early days the South was winning.

It was winning militarily early on, because it had the best generalship and was defending interior lines. But its industrial production and manpower were dwarfed by the North. The North had to encircle and starve the South. The so-called "Anaconda Plan". Once encircled and cut off from the world, all the North needed was the will to see it through (not so easy) and no involvement of outside powers helping the weaker side (not so easy, either). But if those two things held, the South was doomed.

truepeers said...

Another thing that should be kept in mind is that quite aside from whichever side one thought morally superior, the British, in North America, had no choice but to fear the large Northern army. Once an army exists, it might be used. And Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine, an ideology with which I am not completely unsympathetic, was American policy. It is surely the case that there were Brits who might have favored the North against the South, if not for the fact that British lands in Canada were - and who could have known how seriously or rational was the fear? - threatened by a massive military build up the other side of the various semi-independent British colonies' borders.

Luther McLeod said...

More of a lover's quarrel. The North and the South and the estranged Brit's. We know much, but we do not know all, of the various motivations that enticed the British to support the South to the extent that it did. Simple jealousy toward the North might have inspired more than a few. Some may have seen the sun setting on the empire even at that early date and attempted to prevent that. The making of money may have motivated a few more. I find it odd that this is even being discussed. Fact is, is that the English speaking countries, each in their own time, will be the only ones fighting this war. It is we who live the dream, who have to defend it. No one else understands.

terrye said...

Peter:

Point being that if the Confederates had won, the Union would have been doomed and it seems that was all right with a lot of folks across the pond. At least then, now most of them can not believe that their ancestors might have ever had a soft spot for slave owners.

The South was not a union, it was a bunch of sovereign states held together by the Confederate government. That meant they did not work together well as a strong cohesive unit either. Georgia might help Alabama and it might not.

So yes, at first those counry boys and fine Generals who knew how to shoot were doing well against the cold hard Yankee clerks and farmers...but the Yankees had industry and people and tenacity.

And Lincoln.

terrye said...

And Peter:

The idea that slavery was not the motivating factor in the war is a modern notion. Go back and read some of the speeches given by the politicians of the time. To abolitionists in the North slavery was an abomination. To the South it was a manifestation of their independence. There was even talk of it at the time of the ratification of the Constitution, but it was too devisive to confront headline. The hope was that time would deal with it. George Washington said that he hoped slavery would become an anachronism and simply die out. He freed all his slaves on his death bed and arranged for them to be taken care of.

But then came cotton. So, yes the war had been about slaver...just like the rhetoric had been about slavery for 100 years.